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Royal Bengal Tiger photos captured in Neora Valley National Park

Tiger at Neora Valley National Park
Jalpaiguri: Three photos of the Royal Bengal Tiger have been captured in the Neora Valley National Park in the Kalimpong hills.
In December also, a tiger was snapped in the reserve, raising hopes of reaffirming the carnivore's presence at Neora.
"From Thursday morning to Friday morning, photos of Royal Bengal Tiger have been clicked in three cameras of the park. It is good news. Our officers have been instructed to visit the areas and collect pugmarks. We need to determine whether these are photos of one or more tigers," Nisha Goswami, the divisional forest officer, said on Friday.
The photos were clicked at a height of 7,500ft in the core areas of the park, forest sources said. "We had to wait around 10 months to get the fresh photos. The last photos were clicked on February 15 last year," said another senior forest official.
However, the foresters said later that a tiger was photographed in December also.

Neora Valley, known as a virgin forest, is spread over 159.89sqkm on the ridges of the lesser Himalayas at the tri-junction of Bengal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Back in 1993, the presence of tigers was found for the first time, but not through direct sighting.
Presence of pugmarks, tiger scat, leftovers of prey were the indicators which had made experts to come up with an assessment that there can be around 13 tigers at the park. Also, there was information that people residing on the fringes have heard roars of the carnivore.
After 24 years, on January 19 last year, a tiger was sighted for the first time in the park. Anmol Chhetri, a cab driver, saw a tiger near Lava, which is on the outer areas of the park, and clicked photos.
This made the forest department to act and they immediately installed trap cameras in some locations of the park. The initiative worked and again, photos of two other tigers were clicked on January 27 and February 15.
The foresters in due course, installed more cameras and as of now, they are keeping vigil through 22 such cameras which were installed at Neora Valley.
"The sighting of tigers during winter months has left us mulling as whether, due to cold, these animals come down from upper reaches of the park or from the adjoining forests of Bhutan and Sikkim," said a forester.
After collection of the data, including the photos, those would be sent to the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun, for further examination and analysis. "It is necessary to know whether the photos are of one tiger or more. We have to draw the plans for vigilance as well as conservation of tigers accordingly. Those residing on the fringes have also been alerted," the official said.

The Telegraph

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